A key Republican senator is ramping up his campaign to block a sweeping review of military bills that would require women for the first time to sign up for military enlistment.
Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said Monday that he was introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 that would remove the requirement for women to register in à la carte service The system is now tucked away in a massive annual Pentagon policy bill.
“It is wrong to force our daughters, mothers, wives and sisters to fight our wars,” Mr. Hawley said in a statement.
In July, Mr. Hawley voted against asking women to sign up for the draft when the case was brought before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He acknowledged that women have played a vital role in the defense of America throughout the nation’s history.
“Our country is very grateful to the brave women who volunteered to serve our country with and alongside our fighting forces,” he said. “But volunteering for military service is not the same as being forced into it, and no woman should be forced to.”
Still, asking women to sign up to enlist has bipartisan support, with proponents saying the time is right because all military jobs have been opened to them.
US military conscription was abolished in 1973, but American males still must register with the government when they turn 18 if the draft is resubmitted.
“I hope we will always have a force of all volunteers. However, I believe that women should subscribe to à la carte service Senator Jonny Earnest, an Iowa Republican who commanded Army forces in Kuwait and Iraq before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel, told Des Moines for the record in 2016.